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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Environment

Re: “How to Solve the Pollinator Problem?

don't forget you can help scientists track pollinator species by documenting them and uploading them to if they were observed on your property you can obscure the location for privacy. Make sure to add the observations to the Vemront Atlas of Life project so the Vermont Center for Ecostudies can access the data.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Charlie Hohn on 04/04/2016 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Legislators Seek to Secure the Future of Vermont's Valuable Forests

Increased regulations on forestry are a tiny part of the global Agenda 21 program. Little by little the right to use one's land as one desires will be regulated away. Whether it be the BLM taking grazing land from ranchers or the EPA giving themselves complete authority over any and all waterways and wet lands (even seasonal puddles), private property rights are being assailed. Don't misunderstand me.......stewardship of our lands and waterways is essential, I just believe that land owners can and will take better care of their own land, ponds, and brooks than will some government agency. And Robbo is also right.....Vermont's foresters do a great job of managing forests......regulation is a solution in search of a problem.

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by jerrym on 03/25/2016 at 2:17 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

Aside from any pro-or-con arguments about the pipeline, I'm shocked that the Hinesburg select board would even think it's okay to make a secret deal on an issue that is obviously extremely controversial. Whatever happened to representative government? I trust this was a momentary lapse of judgment by the hard-working volunteers who serve us--and that there haven't been many other hugely important decisions hidden from the people of Hinesburg!

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Steve Carlson on 03/12/2016 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

Way to go Hinesburg selectboard, you ROCK!
Once again the selectboard has screwed the taxpayers and residents of Hinesburg.

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Paul Jones on 03/10/2016 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

"Insanity," "closed doors," "speed up the process," "let two hearings stand as one"... We keep hearing these words and phrases in conjunction with anything involving Vermont Gas and this pipeline. This lack of transparency and real respect for Vermonters on the part of VGS becomes glaringly clear at every turn. Really, Beth Parent? "Thousands of new customers?" Those numbers just aren't real. It is grievous that yet another selectboard has been (almost) duped by this disreputable and desperate company. Are they afraid that if they don't deliver this north-south corridor through Vermont to Canada's Gaz Metro, that company will find someone else to do their dirty work? Or another place for it? And by the way, are we all completely clear that fuel oil now costs less than this gas, methane, which is 86 times more deleterious to the atmosphere over a 20 year period than CO2 and is leaked and vented at well sites and compression stations along any pipe route? Stop the madness. And underhanded backroom deals. Eleven miles is enough. And we are running out of time.

5 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Beth Thompson on 03/09/2016 at 8:56 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

Concerned VTer, you should check out the cost of fracked gas. I'm not talking about the devastating cost to our planet; I'm referring to your out of pocket expenses. VT Gas website has a calculator where you can enter how much fuel oil you burn and the price you pay. It would actually cost people to burn gas and that's without the conversion costs.

4 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Mary M on 03/09/2016 at 4:45 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

Bob, are you referring to the high voltage power lines that are part of a system that provides service to nearly all Vermonters and not just a few? Or are you referring to the wires that were already in place when the land was gifted by the Geprags?

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Noordsy on 03/09/2016 at 4:29 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

I hate to burst your bubble Nathan but I am one who would connect to the pipeline if or when it passes close enough to my house

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by ConcernedVter on 03/09/2016 at 4:16 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

Vt. Gas lies, plain & simple. This is a transmission line for dirty fracked gas. It's NOT a service delivery line. Only a few hundred customers *might* benefit, if they elect to hook up. And they will certainly not benefit from all the savings Vt. Gas has promoted, since the project has nearly doubled in cost, and the price-increase market-pressure fix will be in shortly. It's an environmental and safety issue, not an aesthetic one. These pipelines leak. They destroy flora & fauna. They leach natural gas into groundwater and poison wells. The Hinesburg Selectboard certainly messed this one up royally by negotiating in executive session and not once discussing the details in public hearings.

11 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Egmatic on 03/09/2016 at 2:39 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

The Hinesburg Select Board might have fallen for one of VT Gas' old tricks. They tell you, don't tell anybody about the deal your getting, let's just keep this between us and you'll do better than others. The sunshine law was put in place for a reason. You cannot finalize secret deals away from the public's eye.

I am sure the sisters who donated this land would be horrified at this turn of events. Hinesburg residents should demand a complete inventory of the affected area. Aside from the golden wing warbler, what rare or endangered plants are in the way of this pipeline? You cannot mitigate that loss.

Although I am not a resident of Hinesburg, I have donated to the Bissonette Recreation Area. Why? Because we all need to help each other for the future of Vermonts children. I now question if my money was well spent or will the Bissonette land go the way of Geprags Park. I do not believe our State's future should be sold to the highest bidder.

12 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Mary M on 03/09/2016 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

Beth Parent says, "We are hopeful that the interventions will not delay construction or service to these potential new customers or to the thousands of Vermonters on the pipeline route who are depending on us to deliver our services."
So, Vermont Gas, which has botched three cost estimates, is now is a rush and doesn't want to delay service to all those potential new customers. What new customers you ask? Who would bother to switch to burning fracked gas when the cost is more than burning oil and the cost to install and operate a cold climate heat pump is also less than the cost of conversion to burning fracked gas? What new industrial customers in Middlebury that aren't already burning compressed natural gas via the "gas Island" on Exchange Street? Who in Addison County does not have access to fuel? Who is DEPENDING on this pipeline?
This project was NEVER designed to serve Vermont or Vermonters. It is an attempt to install a pipeline that can access the national gas grid so Gaz Metro can make more money and VGS is cleverly getting the Vermont ratepayers to pay for it.

11 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Nathan Palmer on 03/09/2016 at 2:17 PM

Re: “Hinesburg Residents Scramble to Keep Gas Pipeline Out of Park

They need to be careful about disturbing the pristine views of the high voltage power lines that stretch across that side of the park.

14 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by JustBob on 03/09/2016 at 11:59 AM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

To Student for Clean Energy-
What "climate change" are you warning us about? Is it the Obama-driven climate change political agenda or the changes in the weather that are always going on? The "climate change agenda" will continue, like the "harmless" tobacco myths spun out by the tobacco companies, until it became obvious that they were fronting for the most addictive substance known to man, nicotine.
Now, the most compelling scare is the climate change-global warming story, which is just a story. It is the raison d'être for the useless toy renewable energy industry.
Surely, you must know by now that wind and pv solar technology are hopelessly inefficient and incapable of supplying modern energy demand. Neither of these much ballyhooed methods have ever replaced a "dirty" power plant, but like the Russian super hydro-power dams, by the time the extensive power lines reached the big cities, they delivered a trickle of electricity. It was a great social event to relocate entire villages and employ armies of construction workers, but the results were miserable.
The same could be said for the dislocation of rural populations by feeble wind power and solar technologies, the obscene costs of solar and wind power equipment, and the real harm that these do to biological life forms, like cetaceans, birds, bats, bees, and, you guessed it, humans.
Do you still think everyone should take one for the team, or do you think, perhaps, it's time you came to your senses.
I know that this belief that the climate is collapsing has been inculcated into you since you could begin to understand anything.
Like a cult, this belief dies hard.
Read real physics books.
Get help.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Marshall Rosenthal on 02/13/2016 at 2:27 PM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

For every renewable project that isn’t built, an equal or much larger sized fossil fuel project stays online and continues to pollute the environment. For someone benefitting from the use of solar panels, you would think she want others to enjoy the same luxury of affordable, clean, and sustainable energy.

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Lknopp on 02/12/2016 at 5:20 PM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

I believe that the best method to promote a clean environment is to stop polluting with dirty fossil fuels and to move to clean energy. Not only do renewable energy sources stabilize and lower electricity rates, they also have created over a 1000 jobs in the past year alone. Smith has not supported any clean energy projects, which is a mistake in regards to protecting the interests of the Vermont people and our environment.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Student for Clean Energy on 02/12/2016 at 3:39 PM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

While I agree that is important to involve local communities in energy decisions, I don't think we should take this concern as a reason for halting renewables altogether. We need to move forwards, as climate change will not wait around.

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Student for a Clean Energy Future on 02/12/2016 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

Much of the excuse given for increased wood burning is that it is “local”, but local pollution from wood is no better than local pollution from fossil fuels, it is just wrapped in feel good “green” delusion. In fact it is worse. Wood is 25% more carbon intense than oil, and 100% more than gas for heat, and is 50% more carbon intense than coal, 200% more than gas for electric.

It can’t just be local, it has to be clean. What do you think West Virginians think of their coal? Good local energy!

Burning trees just because it is local is just as dumb, and anyone who claims they care about carbon emissions but wants to burn more trees is either a hypocrite or dumber than a stump.

I am NOT defending coal, or fossil fuels, just using the data to show how bad wood burning really is. The fact is, and always will be, burning wood is dirtier than burning fossil fuels, and further cutting of forests is not “green”. Just because one does not want to hear the facts does not change the physics and no amount of self-deluding greenwashing will change these are inconvenient truths.

Such policy madness and resulting public anger often occurs when someone has their hands in the cookie jar. With biomass, maybe the fact that Chris Recchia, Governor Shumlin’s Secretary of ANR was previously the executive director of The Biomass Energy Resource Center is the reason for such counterproductive public policy?

In summary, we need to stop following self-serving vested interests off the cliff and thoughtfully tap the boundless genuinely clean and green energy from the sun above, the earth below (geothermal), properly scaled and located wind and hydro, and reduce energy use through easily implemented conservation and efficiency measures.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Chris Matera on 02/10/2016 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

As a citizen who believes we need to switch to genuinely clean and green energy, and that we should protect and restore the environment, I believe we are lucky to have Annette uncompromisingly fighting for the environment, and us.

If we were to rely on what has sadly become of heavily compromised Green Inc, we are doomed. No doubt there are well intentioned people within these organizations, but too many of these groups have sadly become impotent shadows of themselves due to their addiction to corporate/foundation money and careerist leadership by corporate players.

Consequently, “renewable” energy has too often morphed into a “green” gravy train for vested interests rather than something that actually helps the environment.

One important example is the tree-burning, aka. biomass madness.

Vermont is poised to force citizens to subsidize increased cutting and burning of forests allegedly to “help” the climate. Wood burning is a large portion of the so called “clean” energy plan, yet this is one of the dirtiest forms of energy that exists (even with the newest technology) and is significantly more carbon intense than fossil fuels.

Supposedly “green” Vermont already has one of the highest rates of asthma in the entire country… in large part because Vermont has more wood burning pollution than any state in the country:…

The idea that increased forest logging and burning will “lower” atmospheric carbon emissions is delusional thinking insanity. Such delusional thinking includes McNeil biomass in Burlington which emits 450,000 TONS of CO2 each year according to the EPA, but Burlington waves a magic wand and pretends it doesn’t exist.

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Chris Matera on 02/10/2016 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

Hi Annette, I'll never forget what you did for the Therriens. I've appreciated our exchanges about the effects on Taiwanese airplane techs of the noise and infrasound, and its presence around the mega-watt wind turbine "farms". You know we all need you to continue your work, and if my efforts to help in this might have helped, I am thankful. Regards, Marsh

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Marshall Rosenthal on 02/10/2016 at 5:53 PM

Re: “Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate

VCE Annette Smith David Sleigh Press Conference Feb. 8, 2016

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Frank Haggerty on 02/10/2016 at 5:22 PM

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